A click-bait world: You won’t believe what happens next

February 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

Dixon CMYK 2016These are different times.
Depending upon whom we ask, social media is a God-send or the root of all evil. Good news and bad news, and even “fake news” can spread like wild-fire. My preference is “good news.”  I can handle bad news and readily identify “fake news” as easily as a 2-mph curve ball coming at me in the batter’s box.

A few times (ok, more than four but less than 112) I took the “click-bait” and tried to read an article that someone famous had passed away. I was crushed to hear of Willie Nelson’s “demise,” only to find it was merely an ad designed to get me to a promotion for a certain “male” problem. Look at the top of the announcement that someone prominent “passed away”. If it says “Sponsored”, run for the hills, not toward the pills!

Many years ago, a person joined a great company, stayed for 20 years, received a gold watch and the thanks of a grateful employer. Now the average person changes jobs almost like they change their clocks in the fall and spring. Employers can be just as bad when it comes to sticking with their folks through thick and thin. Loyalty is as fleeting as an honest politician.

That said, one must admire Uriel Santana, recently retired from his job as a meat-cutting guru and department head for Roth’s for most of his 30+ years in the business. Uriel received lots of kudos and congratulations via social media. It is a hard job, a grueling job, a messy job, that requires a lot of lifting, constant time on your feet, and one made more difficult in making the transition from cutting and preparing meat to one that requires equal emphasis on managing today’s workforce. He did it in amazing fashion. His customers love him. The company threw him a wonderful retirement party, thanking him for his work, loyalty, and impeccable service to his customers, and for being a model employee and manager. His wife, Lisa, along with family and friends, had a party honoring his hard work and milestone. He is ready to fish and go rafting more, but also start his second “career”, as a property manager and real estate broker. We wish him best of luck, thanks for helping us pick out the perfect prime Porketta roast, and admiring his dedication to his profession, employer, and customers. Dear Roth’s – When you hire the new meat manager, you have a great template to work with.

Another thing about changing times with a Facebook overlay is regarding restaurants. They can gain followers or lose business in the time it takes to say, “My soup is cold.” A few restaurants have been destroyed as patrons jump on negative reviews like villagers grabbing their torches and pitchforks.

It is difficult to train people to simply call their server or the owner over and say, “My steak is over-cooked.” Doing so, being honest, candid, up-front, is the decent thing to do, quietly and discreetly. Most servers and owners will do the right thing. But it is horribly unfair to start the mob mentality behind social media’s Impersonal Cloak of Invisibility. (You know we can still see you, right?)

But a word to the wise to those who put it all on the line to bring us great food, wonderful and creative drinks, and nerve-calming atmosphere. Do better. No names here, but you know who you are. We see your health department scores in the paper or on-line. If the scores are miserable, do better. It is not rocket science to store food at the correct temperature. This is your dream. This is your livelihood. Take responsibility for the low scores. Come “clean”, so to speak, and more importantly, fix the problems. When the average meal dining out hovers between around $20 now, and you hand us an iPad at check-out with a tip choice starting at 15% or more, we have choices. Lots and lots of choices. Do better. You owe us that. 

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